Kids on the Road-to-Nowhere

Distance today: 91km
Total distance to date: 219km
Temperature (max): 29°C
View the stats on Strava

Randy is the NavCom guy. He operates the Garmin with its previously loaded Vietnam maps. Sometimes it shocks us, successfully taking us down twisty turny itty bitty paths and alleyways. Today it had us squeezing through a crack-in-between-two-buildings that it somehow knew about. Sometimes it lets us down (honestly, it’s rather frequent). Like seriously, just because someone once walked a cow down a dusty, gravelly groove in between two rice paddies, we wouldn’t necessarily qualify it as a navigatable route, but Garmin does! Today we were sent down a road-to-nowhere (again). A man came along on his motorcycle and through a series of hand gestures and charades, he generously invited us to his house. He was one of two separate individuals who in the space of 30 minutes invited us to their homes for some Vietnamese hospitality.

Also on that road-to-nowhere some neighbourhood kids were out just pedalling about and spotted us—and from that moment on they decided they were going where we were going! We became aware that we had a peleton of six Vietnamese children in tow. The “leader” of their little gang was a 12 -year old riding a rickety old bike with a big basket on the front. At one point a few dogs came out to run alongside us too and the kids all picked up speed yelling “Dog! Dog!”  All of us gave ‘er & outran those friendly pooches. The kids & us—we were now a gang of eight. The kids were giggling with delight, laughing & trying hard to keep up. Their leader, the twelve year old, rode alongside us, asking a few simple questions using up what might well be his entire English vocabulary in two questions. When I looked over at him he had the biggest grin on his face, “I. am. happy.” he announced. I let him know “I am happy too!” We ride on a little further, and I could sense he was thrilled to be keeping the pace  I looked over and again with an even bigger smile he repeated, “I. am. happy.” prior to us parting ways.

We got back on route and headed to our final destination, Sam Son.  It’s a beach town and would be our first sighting of the ocean so we pushed the distance today. The last 20 km threw a strong headwind at us that left us wind-whipped & tired. The ocean was there—but there is literally nobody around—empty hotels, empty houses, miles & miles of resorts either vacant or under construction and we can walk down the middle of the road. It has a distinct ghost town feel. We actually wondered if the town had been evacuated for some weird reason?  No matter. We are here for the adventure and We. Are. Happy.

The teeny tiny space between two buildings that Garmin sent us through

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. Happy that your…still rain in Florida…but Christine an I are happy…I side biking or running today…enjoy an be safe

  2. The most interesting part of your trip aside from the geography is the people. Still an amazing adventure. M!

  3. Snow, cold and strong wind (gusts to 50!) with a wind chill of -15 C. I’m not so happy about that but happy you are happy!

  4. What’s not to be happy about! Amazing adventure you two are having.
    Did you take the fellows up on the offer to go back to their house this time?
    The kids must have filled your ❤️s. ☺️

    • Thanks Elaine! We should get together when we get back—we’d love to hear about your Portugal adventures.

    • Right! Even brief encounters can make our day. The children are so darn curious about us, it fills our hearts.

  5. Love the pictures and especially the one of the children with their pink bikes and one taking a picture of you and Randy! Great description of what sounds like an interesting yet challenging day brightened by some smiling folks along the way!

    • Oh, the locals love getting pictures with us! We are so “foreign” and different looking. The other day a young girl maybe 6 years old spotted us riding by and her eyes popped and her jaw dropped and she stood there motionless. So funny!

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